Lawmakers Call for Guards on Trucks: Could Be Saving Lives
USA - Trucks.com writes that lawmakers are advocating to have sideguards required on truck trailers throughout the United States. Without effective guards, a car that collides with a trailer can slide beneath the larger vehicle. The result of these so-called underriding collisions are often devastating and violent.*
Currently, rear-guards are required on all trucks. New laws would have trucks add sideguards and protective guards on the front of trucks as well. While rear-guards are required, they are often too weak to perform as needed in a crash. Efforts to add a side and front guard requirement also seek to make the rear-guards stronger and more effective.
According to lawmakers, these crashes are predictable, and adding these safety features will save lives.
Numbers published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicate that 1,475 people died in crashes with large trucks in 2016. Of that total, 295 of the deaths involved collisions with the side of a trailer, 238 occurred when a car struck the rear of a truck, and front-end crashes killed 915 passenger vehicle occupants. Another 27 crashes involved people striking a part of the truck, but the specific site of impact is not known.
The IIHS believes that side rails will be capable of saving lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) writes that rear-guards need to be strengthened in order to work properly.
The move to make trucks safer is receiving opposition from the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, which argues that the sideguards will not be cost-effective.
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